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  • Natural Grower sees business rocket

    Natural Grower is taking the garden retail sector by storm. The business is experiencing growth thanks to a trend for organic and vegan products.

    Despite only launching in February, Natural Grower is more than a fledgling brand. It has already secured an impressive network of stockists. It’s also secured two major awards makes it one of the most talked about and exciting fresh brands.
     
    Natural GrowerRecognition of bringing two products to market has come thick and fast.
     
    First, Natural Grower won the GIMA Innovators’ Seed Corn Fund 2019. It will get £6,000 of support. This ranges from help with development and marketing costs to business support tools.
     
    Weeks later, Natural Grower was on the list of the 50 most innovative Midlands companies.
     
    The 2019 Innovation 50 Report celebrates the region’s ‘ground-breakers and rising stars’. Judges praised Natural Grower’s ‘ye-catching branding’. They also praised its website and social media presence.

    Veganism x Natural Grower

     
    With 3.5million vegans in the UK, retailers are looking for organic and veganic products. They hope to appeal to a new generation of consumers who want to garden in a manner that’s kinder to the living world. Natural Grower products tick all the boxes.
     
    Owner of Natural Grower, Charlotte Beaty, identified a gap in the market. She then devised a sustainable brand that’s gaining a loyal following.
     
    Charlotte’s story will inspire budding entrepreneurs. She has proven that even in a competitive marketplace, there is always room for newcomers. That’s if they identify a suitable niche.
     
    Harvesting at the farm

    That lightbulb moment came after her farm invested in an anaerobic digester. It digests maize, converting the biogas into electricity to power the National Grid.

     
    It was a by-product of this process called digestate, that was worth its weight in gold. It held the key to creating Natural Grower.
     
    Charlotte harnessed the power of the digestate. Following trials, Natural Grower was born.
     
    The company’s ‘hero product’ is Natural Liquid Fertiliser. It’s diluted and added at the base of plants, injecting nutrients right where they’re needed.
     
    There’s Natural Soil Conditioner, too. A rich, natural soil conditioner that doubles up as a long-term slow-release fertiliser.
     

    Q&A with Charlotte Beaty

    Natural Grower
    Charlotte Beaty

    Do you follow a routine or schedule to maximise productivity and well-being?

     
    I start very early in the morning before everyone else is at their desks. I can respond to emails and complete tasks before the phone starts to ring, or more emails come in. I like achieving as much as I can while it’s quiet! Starting work early means I can then give my full attention to my children when they come home from school.
     

    Natural Grower is expanding fast. What has been the biggest challenge that you’ve had to overcome as an entrepreneur?

     
    Building up a network within an industry that is new to me. A good network will make the business succeed. Sourcing packaging that works with our products and our ethos has been a challenge. It’s one that will evolve as new products come to market.

     

    What’s your technique for solving problems that arise?

     
    I carry out lots of research and talk to countless people for ideas and feedback. I’ll carry on until I’ve found a solution. There are lots of people out there who are happy to assist – it’s a case of finding them!
     

    Do you have any mentors or coaches who have helped to develop your business?

     
    I have had a lot of support from an organisation called GIMA. GIMA has provided plenty of advice and support, while introducing me to key people. That’s helped my business to grow. It was fantastic to win GIMA’s Innovators’ Seed Corn Fund for 2019.
     

    How big is your team, and do you have any tips on hiring employees or contractors?

     
    I have four people on my team at Natural Grower. I’ve focused on choosing people who share the same passion for launching a new company. And promoting a product that they believe in. Unless you are passionate about what you are producing and selling, you won’t make it a success.

     

    What tips can you share for women who would like to start their own businesses like Natural Grower?

     
    Natural GrowerResearch and understand what your industry needs, then go for it! There are plenty of business support networks out there for men and women. Look online for business groups meeting near you and make full use of their shared knowledge. Innovators and entrepreneurs are key to the UK. They continue to meet business challenges and develop new products. It’s hard work launching a new company. Taking your idea from a sketch on a piece of paper to reality costs a lot of money. It’s stressful and takes up an enormous amount of your time. But being part of that process is very exciting and rewarding.
     

    What are the pros and cons of being a female entrepreneur in 2019?

    There are a lot of female business support groups out there to tap in to. A quick search on Google will find groups near you. I have found the garden industry to be very welcoming. I haven’t experienced any negativity towards the fact that it is a female-led company. For any business to succeed takes drive and determination, regardless of your gender. I have strived to succeed, networked and kept positive. As a result of that I haven’t experienced any cons with being a female entrepreneur. I have loved every minute of it!
     

    After achieving so much success with Natural Grower, what do you struggle with now?

    Finding time to look after my own garden!

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